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Does Terrorism Work?

Eric Gould and Esteban Klor ()

The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2010, vol. 125, issue 4, 1459-1510

Abstract: This paper examines whether terrorism is an effective tool for achieving political goals. By exploiting geographic variation in terror attacks in Israel from 1988 to 2006, we show that local terror attacks cause Israelis to be more willing to grant territorial concessions to the Palestinians. These effects are stronger for demographic groups that are traditionally right-wing in their political views. However, terror attacks beyond a certain threshold cause Israelis to adopt a less accommodating position. In addition, terror induces Israelis to vote increasingly for right-wing parties, as the right-wing parties move to the left in response to terror. Hence, terrorism appears to be an effective strategy in terms of shifting the entire political landscape to the left, although we do not assess whether it is more effective than non-violent means.

Date: 2010
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Working Paper: Does Terrorism Work? (2009) Downloads
Working Paper: Does Terrorism Work? (2009) Downloads
Working Paper: Does Terrorism Work? (2009) Downloads
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